Gun dog training
We don't have hunting forum, but I get the feeling most of us in here like to shoot things and some of us eat what we shoot (within reason)....
I was wondering if anyone had any experience (preferably more than just sit/shake/roll over) with hunting dogs. I've trained a few dogs in the past, but I'm always looking for improved methods or thinking for training gun dogs.
So this is Zander. He'll be 8 weeks on the 25th. I've had him for about a week now. I've gotten him used to the collar and we've started working in the leash on walks as of this morning. I've started him play training with scented dummies and just some simple games of fetch in the hall.
I'm wondering if anyone has any training (for hunting) that they use and feel quite comfortable with using. I've used the force fetch method before, but would consider something that doesn't seem nearly so traumatic. At 8 weeks, he's not really ready for that level of stress.
Try "Speed Train Your Own Retriever" and "Speed Train Your Own Bird Dog", both by Larry Mueller. I had really good results with his training methods and would recommend these books to anyone that is interested in training their dog for the field.
7th, I think you are a terrible person for wanting to hunt dogs. Even worse for raising a dog with the interntion of hunting and eating it.
by the title, i was hoping for dogs with guns mounted on them. boy am i disappointed.
i say just go out and shoot some flying things and let nature and instinct take it's course?
+rep for making me laugh. I was in a bad mood before I read this post.
Originally Posted by Razamataz
Originally Posted by Razamataz
that was pretty funny, however, dog tastes pretty good.
what breed is he?
what do you want to work him as? i.e. what are you planning on hunting (and your dog roll there in).
do you know people who also have hunting dogs?
how much time do you have to spend with him each day?
i have experiance with pointers and retrivers (but have also worked tracking dogs for big game (that said, most decent pointers 'get it' no matter what your hunting).
He is a weimaraner.
I hunt dove, quail, duck, and geese. I'll probably work him on dove and quail.
I take him to work with me everyday. Outside of a few hours at night to train on my own we're never apart.
Originally Posted by 7thSamurai
I have a friend who is a game keeper and he has a pair of bitches. Excellent dogs.
Anyhow, there is quite a lot to consider with this breed. Itís very very smart and will not respond like 'normal' hunting dogs (most people start with retrievers which are fairly difficult to **** up), so Iíll mention some of the main difference to keep in mind.
This breed is, as Iím sure you know, a pointer.
He will quarter instinctively. The main thing to remember is that he knows what he's doing.
Your job is to cover the ground and work with the wind: move at a steady pace, work into wind. If he is milling-about sniffing (especially ground sniffing) DO NOT just stand there....this will only condition him to sniff scents on the ground as opposed to sniff air and find game. So keep moving, unless he comes onto point. Again watch his body language.
On a side, it is best to approach a dog on point from behind. When you watch them working in pairs (or more), this is how they behave. I find you can walk up further on the game from behind, and the dog is less likely to charge in and/or charge off.
They have a tendency to chase ground game such as hare/rabbit. Your job here is to read his body language and call him to stay/steady when you see him start to tense up.
Also, as a puppy, you should be calling him to you using either your 'call command' or your call whistle when you feed him. This will condition him to return when you call, hopefully stopping him from bolting after a rabbit/hare. If he does bolt, don't be pissed off with him when he comes back, or else he will be conditioned not to come back when you call.
Usually each dog will find his own depth and quarter distance, itís not the same for all of them. You can change this over time as the dog begins to realise that you know what youíre doing.
Finally, you have to think about your actions when dealing with this breed. They are smart and have good memories. Basic training follows the same sort of conditioning, the difference with this dog is that it responds badly to over-handling, so be patient.
The absolute best thing you can do is to taken him out with other (good) pointers and let him see how itís done.
Most of these very high standard hunting breeds take a few years to mature (I have a Hungarian Vissler who only started to really perform at 5).
Your dog will love hunting with you more then anything else. Itís his raison d'etre.
If you have anything else in particular let me know and Iíll either answer from experience or ask someone who knows.
I like this idea. I hadn't thought of that.
Originally Posted by krasus
Luckily, it's not my first rodeo. I've been hunting with labs for better than two decades now. It's also not my first weim. My previous weim had a nasty disorder that basically meant he wasn't much for the field. He made a great lap dog, though.
With all my labs, retrieving just kind of happened. It didn't take a whole lot of effort. I'm still trying to read up on how to put him on point. It's not something that I'm at all familiar with.
What is your opinion on force fetch training?
I've been reading Gun Dog. He brings up some interesting points on training WHOA using a large board to help define space for the dog to eat on and later learn as a limiting area. Unfortunately, I don't have the space for that. At the moment, I feel the weim will best be used as a pointer/retriever, but I'm not sure how severe the pointer training should be. I'd be happy for him to hold quail and bring back a dropped bird. Some of the material and people I've spoken with regarding pointers have incredibly complicated regimes for training. It's nothing I have any experience with.
We've been doing some play training with a scented dummy. He's getting some light retrieving in and we'll start playing with dragging the dummy through some semi-high grass to get him looking. Being that he's just 8 weeks, we're not doing anything hard/harsh. It's all just for play.